Investing in the Internet… literally.

One of the Crystal Palace Space Station domes

The headlines were salacious, the scandal was set. This was going to be the water-cooler story of the week.

27 year-old Erik Novak from British Columbia paid out a record-breaking $330,000 (USD) for a digital space station. Let that sink in for a moment.

A digital space station.

In a video game.

Perhaps even better than all the jokes you and I could write all day was the argument from the company that this was a sound investment.

First Planet Company created “Entropia Universe” and then the “Planet Calypso” massively-multiplayer online videogame to act and feel like a real economy. It has a bank in Sweden with an ATM card and an exchange rate of 10 videogame “PED”s to $1 USD.

Blah blah blah, where’s the investment angle?

Apparently, the company says that this virtual space station will return investment within two years. Unreal! (literally) Apparently, he’ll make the money back by generally conducting the video game’s business like selling virtual ammunition, repairing virtual goods, and taxing virtual hunting parties for virtual monsters.

from Commentaries:

Twitter backlash foretold

Technology market research firm Gartner Inc has published the 2009 "Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies," its effort to chart out what's hot or not at the cutting edge of hi-tech jargon. It's just one of an annual phalanx of reports that handicap some 1,650 technologies or trends in 79 different categories for how likely the terms are to make it into mainstream corporate parlance.

Jackie Fenn, the report's lead analyst and author of the 2008 book "Mastering the Hype Cycle," delivers the main verdict:

Technologies at the Peak of Inflated Expectations during 2009 include cloud computing, e-books (such as from Amazon and Sony) and internet TV (for example, Hulu), while social software and microblogging sites (such as Twitter) have tipped over the peak and will soon experience disillusionment among corporate users.